Tokyo Tech News

Six students receive 2023 Tokyo Tech Award for Student Leadership


Published: December 19, 2023

Six students have received the 2023 Tokyo Tech Award for Student Leadership. Awarded annually since 2002 to students in the second, third, or fourth year of their bachelor's program, the award aims to encourage highly motivated students with extraordinary intellect, humanity, creativity, and energy to continue with their studies and work towards becoming global leaders.

Five of six 2023 Tokyo Tech Award for Student Leadership winners (from left): Kim, Fujisaki, Otomo, Hasegawa, Ogawa

Five of six 2023 Tokyo Tech Award for Student Leadership winners (from left): Kim, Fujisaki, Otomo, Hasegawa, Ogawa

2023 Tokyo Tech Award for Student Leadership winner Hayakawa

2023 Tokyo Tech Award for Student Leadership winner Hayakawa

At the awards ceremony held at Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza (Taki Plaza) on October 26, five of the students received a certificate and prize for their efforts from President Kazuya Masu, and then discussed their achievements and future plans with the head of the Institute. One of the students was unable to join the ceremony as he was in California at the time.

This year's award recipients, all of whom overcame demanding hurdles in their academic and extracurricular activities, were lauded particularly for their creativity and leadership as they pursued their passions during the COVID-19 pandemic, or restarted their activities soon after various restrictions were lifted.

2023 Tokyo Tech Award for Student Leadership recipients and award-winning activities

Kosuke Ogawa
4th year, Mechanical Engineering

  • As vice-representative and representative of Tokyo Tech's Peer Support, a service for students by students, demonstrated strong leadership by establishing the direction of these activities, providing direct support to fellow students while guiding other peer supporters, and taking the lead in addressing the sharply increased number of consultations.
  • Actively shared information on peer support activities at symposiums and other events both within and outside Tokyo Tech, contributing to the enhanced reputation of the Institute.

I am honored to receive such a prestigious award. In the beginning, I doubted whether I could serve as the representative of this group, but after a year of activities, I gained confidence in my role as a peer supporter representative. I am sure there were many areas where I could have been more reliable, but with the help of the other peer supporters and faculty, I was able to carry out my role. I thank you all. I would like to use the experiences I have accumulated in both future peer support activities and my research activities at Tokyo Tech.

Namkyong Kim
3rd year, Materials Science and Engineering

  • As head of the Korean Students Association at Tokyo Tech (KSA), member of the International Exchange Team among Tokyo Tech's peer life coaches, and head of the Community group within Taki Plaza Gardener, an official student club in charge of managing the flagship student exchange hub on Ookayama Campus, planned and implemented various exchange events and support meetings, helped create new organizations and student communities, promoted international exchange, and contributed to international student support and industry-academia collaboration through her leadership.
  • Launched a new volunteer group that offers academic support to children.

Thank you very much for the Tokyo Tech Student Leadership Award. I remember feeling anxious about the unfamiliar environment when I first arrived in Japan, but after joining and working in various student organizations, I have learned to apply my differences as a tool to work with others. I have met and worked with students of various nationalities in the peer life coaches' International Exchange Team, with Japanese students in the Taki Plaza Gardener student group, and with business people through KSA. I have understood the importance of respecting diversity, and have gained valuable experiences accomplishing many things with different people. While keeping these achievements in mind, I would like to continue towards various goals regardless of language and culture.

Shogo Hayakawa
4th year, Computer Science

Soon after joining Tokyo Tech, founded a company and successfully commercialized his idea of a voice service that uses AI technology to convert voices into "fonts" and provides free services to people who have lost their voices due to surgery. As CEO of the company, has managed employees of various nationalities and ages, inspired other students through his entrepreneurial leadership, and received various awards outside Tokyo Tech for his efforts, many of which have been widely covered in the press.

Thank you very much for this prestigious award.

I wanted to attend the award ceremony and express my heartfelt gratitude, but unfortunately, I am currently in California and could not make it back to Japan. I am sorry I could not be there, but I am delighted to receive this wonderful award despite the circumstances.

I am honored to share the same stage with the other award winners, all of whom have reached great achievements. I am still a fledgling, but I will use this award as encouragement to continue to devote myself to my work.

Yoshihito Hasegawa
4th year, Life Science and Technology

As the Student Survey representative, led a group of students who worked together to submit the Student Survey 2022 proposal to the Tokyo Tech president. Amidst major institutional changes such as the upcoming merger with Tokyo Medical and Dental University and the introduction of special quotas for Japanese-speaking prospective female students applying to the Tokyo Tech's bachelor's degree programs, took a leading role in the creation of survey questions, data tabulation and analysis, and the creation of recommendations and additional survey questions, while ensuring fairness and respecting the opinions and needs of individual student staff members.

I am delighted to have been selected as a recipient of this award.

Looking back on our activities, I have learned a great deal from my time as the leader of the Student Survey group. It was also an invaluable experience to be able to achieve our goal of submitting a proposal to the president through cooperation and discussion with everyone involved. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the faculty and staff who supported us, and most of all, to the members who kept moving forward despite my lackluster leadership skills.

I will make use of the lessons I have learned and work even harder in my activities and research in order to live up to the name of this award.

Shiho Otomo
4th year, Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering

  • Within the sphere of international volunteer activities, demonstrated strong leadership as deputy director of the student-led unicef Campus supported by the Japan Committee for UNICEF, contributing to the launch and development of the organization.
  • Actively participated in the support, planning, and operation of international exchange programs as a member of the International Exchange Team of Tokyo Tech's peer life coaches.
  • Studied abroad in three different countries while conducting award-winning research.

These activities have had a positive impact on student both within and outside Tokyo Tech.

Thank you for selecting me as a recipient of the prestigious Tokyo Tech Student Leadership Award. I am truly delighted. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me. In order to fulfill my childhood aspiration to become a global leader and engineer who can contribute to the international community, I joined the Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering within Tokyo Tech's School of Environment and Society, and have been taking on challenges in a variety of areas. I will continue to be grateful to those around me as I pursue my dreams. I look forward to your continued support.

Maoko Fujisaki
4th year, Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering

  • As deputy director of the Tokyo Tech Orchestra, guided fellow musicians and ensured smooth operation of the group during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • As a member of FLAP, a student association for study abroad promotion, led a team that connects students wishing to study abroad with students who have experienced study abroad, thereby playing a critical role in advancing new initiatives to promote student mobility.
  • Engaged in group work while studying in two different countries or regions, learning about varying leadership styles and ways to contribute in different cultures, all of which she applied to her FLAP activities.

I am honored to receive this award. Through my various activities both within and outside Tokyo Tech, I have learned not only from the leaders around me, but also from the leadership behaviors of different individuals, and these experiences have presented me with opportunities to grow. This award is the accumulation of the support from all those people I met. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of them.

I learned that organizations vary infinitely in size and circumstance, and that a different form of leadership is required each time. There is no right answer. I would like to continue to engage in activities that broaden my perspectives and push me to expand my leadership skills.

Award-winning students with President Masu (front, 3rd from right), other Tokyo Tech executives and faculty

Award-winning students with President Masu (front, 3rd from right), other Tokyo Tech executives and faculty

Related Links


Support Planning Group, Student Support Division